How Long Does A Deck Last| Signs of Unsafe /Risky Deck| Deck Wood Rot

How Long Does A Deck Last| Signs of Unsafe /Risky Deck| Deck Wood Rot

How Long Does A Deck Last| Signs of Unsafe /Risky Deck| Deck Wood Rot



How Long Does A Deck Last| Signs of Unsafe /Risky Deck| Deck Wood Rot

Deck Collapse Statistics

Statistics show there are about 40 million decks in the United States, and about half are not built to code or exceed their life expectancy, which can often lead to deck collapse.

Since 2007 alone, there’s been a 20% increase in decks collapses. Fortunately, there are some straightforward ways to tell if your deck is unsafe.

How Long Does A Deck Last?

Most deck experts estimate that a wood deck has an average life expectancy of between 10 years to 15 years. They also note that thousands of decks in the US are presently unsafe. However, the good news is that these desks can be repaired to prevent the deck’s collapse.

Signs of Unsafe /Risky Deck

Let’s go over the six warning signs of an unsafe deck and top critical connections that make your deck safe and strong.

Rot or Deterioration

First, we need to be sure that the structure house you’re attaching to its sound. Are there any signs of deterioration or rot and studs, rim boards, or sheeting? If so, they may not be able to support your deck fully.


Missing Connectors

A safe deck is a combination of wood, nails, screws, bolts, and steel connectors, and if you’re missing any of these, you may have an unsafe deck.


Loose Connections

Vital connections may have degraded over time due to various factors. Wobbly railings, loose stairs, and ledgers pulling away from home are all causes for concern.


Corrosion Signs and Deck Wood Rot

Steel connectors and fasteners can corrode over time. Look for rust or other corrosion signs that can weaken your deck’s structural strength and rot or degrade over time with exposure to the elements.


Be mindful of the rot within the deck frame. Is this maybe especially unsafe?


Cracked Wood

It is common for cracks to develop larger. Excessive cracking throughout the deck can weaken the structure.


Faulty Lumber Wood Connection

When most people think about a deck, they think about the lumber of the framing. But how the lumber is connected is equally important.

In fact, there are critical connections to a deck.


How to Build a Deck Connected to House (Connectors)


90% of all deck collapses are caused by the ledger pulling away from the house, which makes the ledger critical connection number one.

The best way to ensure a solid connection to the house is to use structural screws and not nails.

When attaching the joints Still a ledger, a great option is a steel Joint stinger.

Hurricane Tier clips are a good way to secure Joist to the beams that support the deck’s floor. Most experts recommend a steel post cap where the post meets the beam.

The best way to attach your post to the concrete slab footing is with the steel post base. This ensures a solid post to concrete connection and could prevent the deck from sliding off its foundation.

Many injuries occur from people leaning on weak or wobbly railings. The railing and guard assembly must be properly attached to the deck framing.

Stair stringers run along each stair and must be attached to the deck framing, ideally with steel connectors and the appropriate fasteners.


Next, ensure that all stairs are secured to the stringer, using deck screws or steel connectors. To ensure the deck will not pull away from home, it’s a good idea to use the deck tension ties attached directly to the house’s frame.

The final critical connection is the post to a beam knee brace, which reduces or prevents side to side movement.

Together, all these critical connections make for what is called the continuous load path, which is the best way to ensure a long-lasting, safe, strong deck.

If you think your deck has missing, damaged, or improperly installed critical connections, or if you have any of the six warning signs, it is time to repair or replace your deck.

The easiest way to know is to consult a structural engineer or a general contractor.

They know the local codes and permits needed to build a safe deck, and they’ll help you design a deck within your budget for you and your family.


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